This book popped up on my Facebook feed a few times and so I hopped onto Netgalley to see if I could get an advanced review copy – and I was accepted.
Disclaimer: It was only when I read the ‘thanks’ at the end of the book that I found out one of my friends was the editor for the book!! Thankfully that didn’t colour my judgement as I only found out afterwards.
Here’s the Amazon blurb:
“Remember the true meaning of Christmas with this heartfelt and beautiful novel from bestselling author Emma Heatherington.
Can a single act of kindness change a life forever?
To many people, Ruth Ryans has everything: the perfect job, a beautiful home and a loving family. But as Christmas approaches, Ruth feels lonelier than ever.
Then Ruth meets Michael. A man who she showed kindness to during his darkest moment. That one single act, his miracle, helped change his life forever.
Ruth decides to make this Christmas the most perfect one ever, opening up her home to those who need her help – the lonely, the lost and the ignored.
Actions speak louder than words and Ruth Ryans’ kindness will create little miracles for everyone … including her own battered heart.”
Initially I was a big confused and overwhelmed by the number of different characters – but it soon became evident they’d all written to Ruth Ryans in her capacity as an agony aunt – so that then made sense! I also wasn’t entirely sure where it was set – not that it matters – but I worked out during the book it was Ireland, but not Dublin, although can’t be more sure of the geography than that!
Once I got into it, I really enjoyed it. It gave a true festive feel – and whilst it’s out now (I finished it on publication day!) – I think it would be a perfect read in late December – maybe over the Christmas holidays in fact.
You really get a feel for how lonely people can be – and how this is magnified at a time like Christmas. It also shows how a bit of kindness can go a long way – from Ruth’s initial contact with Michael, through to her opening up her home to the lonely, lost and ignored. Each of the characters that write to Ruth are fleshed out and you feel you get to know them as Ruth does – which I enjoyed.
There is a twist in the middle – which I have to say I guessed – but that didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the book. (I won’t tell you what it is, as I hate book reviews with massive spoilers).
Overall I really enjoyed it as a fun, easy, but still thought provoking, read. I also think it would make a lovely festive film.
I’m not sure I can fit it into a category of my 2018 Reading Challenge – as I’ve already got books in the slots it would fit – but I’m trying not to get too hung up on that – and read things I want to read as well!